Winter Queen by Amber Argyle
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
Source: Electronic ARC for review
Genre: Fairy tale ~ older YA to adult
Book Description: ~Becoming a winter queen will make Ilyenna as cold and cruel and deadly as winter itself, but it might be the only way to save her people from a war they have no hope of winning.~
Mortally wounded during a raid, seventeen-year-old Ilyenna is healed by winter fairies who present her with a seductive offer: become one of them and share their power over winter. But that power comes with a price. If she accepts, she will become a force of nature, lose her humanity, and abandon her family.
Unwilling to pay such a high price, Ilyenna is enslaved by one of the invaders, Darrien. While in captivity, she learns the attack wasn’t just a simple raid but part of a larger plot to overthrow her entire nation.
With the enemy stealing over the mountains and Darrien coming to take her to his bed, Ilyenna must decide whether to resurrect the power the fairies left behind. Doing so will allow her to defeat Darrien and the other invaders, but if she embraces winter, she will lose herself to that destroying power—forever.
My thoughts: Ilyenna travels through many emotional paths throughout this book. She is the daughter of the clan chief at the beginning facing the unknown as her father, brother, and men of the clan heed the call of their neighbor who are being attacked.
To save her father and brother she bargains with death and is marked in their place. A bargain is struck with the winter fay to become their queen and save her life.
Amber Argyle has written a story that is captivating. The plot seems straightforward until she reveals layer upon layer of intrigue and sub-plots. Ilyenna's choice is complex and the many circumstances that lead her to her ultimate decision are heartbreaking. Ilyenna's strong character is fueled by her capacity to love and make sacrifices for her loved ones.
I enjoyed my time in this story. It is well written and drew me in. When I finished I was sad to let go of the story and immerse myself into the book.
There is some violence and a sexual content without being descriptive.